I forgot one very important detail about Ponce.
So, at the Sat afternoon show (I think) there was this super old guy in a cowboy hat sitting in the front row next to the ring. Anytime anything exciting happened in the ring the guy would throw is arms either up in the air or over his head OMFG style. After the trick landed the arms would fly back up and he'd give this 'OLE!' type gesture, hat in hand. One more than one occasion the dude got up and walked toward the ring trying to converse with the performers. During Stas and Vas' act he leaned over and from our vantage point looked like he was trying to buy Vas a beer. By the time Finale came around he was up on his feet hands flying in the air again. As the performers ran past he extended his hand and received a much deserved hi-five from the majority of the performers. Absolutely classic! After the show I was hanging back by the sound board and the dude comes up and gives me a big hug and starts in:
"Ah! Puerto Rican!" :gestures to himself: "Puerto Rican People. American People!" "God bless God bless!"
It was later discovered the dude was in his 90s, had gone through 4 wives, and took Viagra every single day.
I now have something to strive for when I become a crazy ass old man.
OK, onto Arecibo.....
As I boarded the bus leaving Ponce I was expecting to chill and enjoy a relaxing ride up the west coast.....no such luck.
Things started out well enough until we hopped off the interstate onto that skinny ass, windy, road of death we had traversed in search of the waterfall. Keep in mind we were in a huge freaking bus. T'was entertaining to say the least. The were several corners rounded the nearly resulted in head on collision with semis. Even more entertaining was watching the impatient Puerto Rican drivers zip past the bus on blind curves and avoid death by inches serving out the way of oncoming traffic.
**Side Note** I will be forever confused as to how s-l-l-l-o-o-o-w-w-w-w all other aspects of Puerto Rico (food service esp) are except for their batshit crazy drivers. What gives?
We survived the drive and ended up at our destination: El Buen Cafe Hotel and Restaurant.
The hotel was still better than the good 'ole Diamond Palace, but it wasn't nearly as nice as the HoJo in Ponce. One saving grace was that we were only a couple blocks from an incredible beach (not the swimming kind but the climb on rocks and narrowly escape death from waves kind).
There was this huge Prudential Rock looking thing jutting out of the water a bit off shore so we decided to go climb it. The water was relatively shallow but there were tons rocks poking out here and there and a suuuuuper strong current. Wasn't the smartest idea to venture out there but what's the point of being in Puerto Rico if you aren't going to cheat death multiple times? We made it across but soon regretted not bringing our sandals. Pointy. Ass. Rocks. Everywhere. Our feet were sufficiently sliced up by the time we made it back to shore (against a much stronger current that when we came out mind you). There were other spots on the beach where the rock formations were transformed into very cool mini-waterfalls when the monster waves slammed against them.
Next to the beach we discovered a very surreal "playground" area:
Back to beach adventures however. There was a pack of 5 stray dogs we ran into everyday just chillin' on the beach. We also encountered an huge Iguana on the beach that took off into the water as we came near, swam his ass off, and chilled on some rocks giving us the evil eye.
The "new" arena we played in Arecibo was hardly that. The first sign of trouble was during load in when the show had to kick out some random homeless dude who was sleeping on a couch in the production office. The only bathrooms they had were backstage and the building tries to talk the show into letting the public come back during intermission to use them.....uh...no
We made one excursion on our last day with one of the gals working at the hotel out to Isabella to chill on a more 'swimming appropriate' beach. After a few drinks however, Davie and I went off to climb more scary rocks and almost die yet again. Soooooo many cool ass rock formations with the huge waves just smashing around everywhere. Pointless to try to put it into words. Even the pics don't quite translate the awesomeness.
That night there was a birthday bash for Marty outside of a few of the villas. It was also
During Finale of the final show the previous day, a card was left in Joel's dressing room reading 'Good Luck'. And as a endearing parting gesture a huge piece of elephant shit complete with candles was ceremoniously placed upon the paper.
At the party, Marty decided after all the
It would have probably made more sense to take the plastic covering off the cake BEFORE having Joel stand next to it with his eyes closed but he was a good sport aboot it, kept his eyes closed, and awaited what was obviously coming.
Holy crap. Marty slammed him so freaking hard we were sure he had broken his nose. Cake was splattered on people several yards away. A fitting farewell.
That pretty much wraps up Puerto Rico. I am definitely planning on going back at some point and exploring the rest of the island, but at that point I was ready for another week home in Pittsburgh.
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